The Champion

April 2003 , Page 62 

Search the Champion Looking for something specific?

Preview of Member Only Content

For full access: login or Become a Member Join Now

A Gideon Moment

By Robert F. Field

Read more A Gideon Moment columns.

When I started as a public defender in 1976, I was quickly burning out, handling what I considered to be insignificant minor cases. My boss kept telling me that every case was important, and if you look hard enough you will find the real meaning of our work in even the simplest of matters.

In 1979, I was introduced to Rose Caoli by a prosecutor on the case who told me that she needed a lawyer. He told me he was under a great deal of political pressure to prosecute her to the fullest extent of the law. Rose Caoli, a diminutive 70-year-old woman, stood before me clutching rosary beads in her hands.

From the beginning she had complete faith in my ability to represent her and had no doubt that God was on her side. By now I am sure you are wondering what great crime Ms. Caoli committed. Well — take a breath — she was charged with “feeding pigeons in the park.”

It seems my client believed that the Virgin Mary appeared in her bedroom years before and assigned her

Want to read more?

The Champion archive is reserved for NACDL members.

NACDL members, please login to read the rest of this article.
login

Not a member? Join now.
Join Now
Or click here to see an overview of NACDL Member benefits.

See what NACDL members say about us.

To read the current issue of The Champion in its entirety, click here.

  • Media inquiries: Contact NACDL's Director of Public Affairs & Communications Ivan J. Dominguez at 202-465-7662 or idominguez@nacdl.org
  • Academic Requests: Full articles of The Champion Magazine are available for academic and research purposes in the WestLaw and LexisNexis databases.

In This Section

Advertisement Advertise with Us
ad